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Process Nazis

Unlike most enterprise software development orgs where “quality assurance” is equated to testing, government contractors  usually have both a quality assurance group and a test engineering group. Why is that? It’s because big and bloated government customers “expect” all of its contractors to have one. It’s the  way it is, and it’s the way it’s always been.

Process Nazis

It doesn’t matter if members of the QA group never specified, designed, or wrote a line of software in their life, these checklist process nazis walk around wielding the process compliance axe like they are the kings of the land: “Did you fill out this unit test form?” “Do you have a project plan written according to our template?“, “Did you write a software development plan for us to approve?“, “Did you submit this review form?“, “Did you submit this software version definition form?“, “Do you have a test readiness form?“, “If you don’t do this, we’ll tell on you and you’ll get punished“. Yada, yada, yada. It’s one interruption,  roadblock, and distraction after another. On one side, you’ve got these obstacle inserters, and on the other side you’ve got nervous, time-obsessed managers looking over your shoulder. WTF?


Since following a mechanistic process supposedly  “proven to deliver results” doesn’t guarantee anything but a consumption of time, I don’t care much about formal processes. I care about getting the right information to the right people at the right time. By “right“, I mean accurate, unambiguous, complete, and most importantly – frreakin’ useful. For system engineers, the right information is requirements, for software architects it’s blueprints, for programmers it’s designs and source code, for testers it’s developer tested software. How about you, what do you care about?

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